Soil and Water Conservation that counts A GBM-led initiative in partnership with TNC Upper Tana Nairobi Water fund
Written by Mercy Karunditu, Senior Programme Officer at the Green Belt Movement
The Green Belt Movemnet (GBM) is mobilizing rural households to intensively restore natural resources on their farms and on riparian reserves with special focus on soil, water and diversity of trees and crops grown. These initiatives support rural households to realign their resources management practices to the best practices for biodiversity and ecosystem health. They initiate biodiversity conservation actions and ensure sustainable livelihoods by transforming land use practices for soil, water and natural forest with the aim to increase land productivity and improve water flow.
The Green Belt Movement's integrated watershed based approach which promotes the protection of environment, good governance and cultures of peace ensures that the communities are empowered enough to hold leaders accountable in environmental issues. On the other hand, this water fund for Africa will ensure that stakeholders pull resources together for the fund to enable conservation of water resources which are already crying for our help. GBM is using bamboo for riparian conservation to promote water quality within the watershed. Capacity building on green business using Bamboo biomass as a nature based enterprise has been done intensively. Value addition is critical at household level and farmers are able to make simple house-holds handicrafts and products for use through the skills acquired.
GBM has developed and adopted a reward scheme for conservation of forests, biodiversity, soil and water in the two sub-catchments (Gura- Sagana). The Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) scheme has specific rewards commensurate to both individual and group conservation efforts. GBM rewards the conservation champions in Upper Tana by giving them multipurpose jikos, beehives, fruit trees and dairy goats.
As a result of these conservation efforts with communities at the grassroots, the Green Belt Movement has been awarded by The Nature Conservancy for demonstrating conservation leadership in the Water Fund.